Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Internet Marketing: Time to back up, take a deep breath, and relax, then see what is going on...

Caught myself going in as I was going out - same location, same time - so this is an excuse/reason to stand back and see what's happening with me and my projects.

If you're going to succeed in Internet Marketing, it means planning your work and working your plan. Here's the plan:

The idea I had for the Internet is to start making a living from it. To offer things for sale and then get income back for the exchange.

I started off with simply scratching my own itch in terms of writing and publishing books on self help, self improvement, personal development, etc. This was to resolve certain questions that had remain unanswered for many years. Because I was now and author (and editor/publisher: The Go Thunk Yourself Self Help Library), I went into the realm of marketing - and hence: An Online Millionaire Plan. In the middle of this, I found an interesting niche, where I edited and compiled a book of essays, entitled: Secrets to the Law of Attraction.

Three product-lines, all with about 10-16 books or more. Whew.

Looking this over: my work in online sales is to offer valuable data to individuals, packaging it in a format they can understand and will help them decide to purchase that item.

Meanwhile, work out the most efficient ways to promote.

The key problems have been:
  • Internet Marketing is in a constant state of flux. What worked great last year has faded somewhat and new approaches have shown up. (Article Marketing and SEO vs. Social Media)
  • Existing Internet Marketing is over-filled with hype and scams.
And so my reticence in building up An Online Marketing Plan list - simply because I wanted to provide really valuable service, not just a collection of over-hyped 17-page ebooks with questionable data and obnoxious sales pages.

This also has slowed my other marketing, since I have been spending the bulk of my time either in research and testing, or in creating new products as the inspiration struck me.

I think, at this point, I've reached a point of maturity and refinement which will allow me to simply get down to a schedule of consistent promotion.

And that's essentially being able to schedule my time and stick to it.

This also means getting down to some serious re-design of my sites so that they do provide real service and reflect the volume of works I have available for purchase. And as well, this will mean building in some affiliate sales so that I either enable affiliates to sell my books or link as an affiliate to paying sites. So I will be setting up real sales pages for every product and then linking these to ClickBank or another provider.

I'll not be dropping Lulu, but instead will probably link in "iframe" sales blurbs so that these pages start to actually sell the product with measurable weekly results.

My sales funnels will be reworked, as well. Mostly, they are not really built for anything. I offer a few books and have been adding more as I go. But I need to add in some larger online courses and "webinars" / online seminars that people can take for higher payments. I have these laid out, more or less, and just have to sit down and create them.

That's the rub - the hard, slogging, detail-intensive work of creating big stuff from the ground up and posting these to my web site, Clickbank, etc. and then marketing each of these as themselves.

So I intend to start at the beginning and rebuild each of these three product lines from the bottom up. I imagine that it would be smart to take the best-earning products and back up these sales with the first improved sites.

As well, I really have to work on off-line marketing, such as radio, in order to get the word out. I'm set otherwise.

- - - -

Rough online marketing plan - and how I would tell anyone to do this properly:
  1. Have a product - in my case, book. But it would apply to any info product and probably any other product.
  2. Get familiar with that product, its pro's and con's. All its wrinkles, warts, and smiles.
  3. Keyword research on that product - very complete. This drives your sales copy and the review copy itself.
  4. Write an honest review about it - what is good, what should be improved, whether you would personally buy it (even if you wrote it), whether the price is worth it. Keep this under 3000 words, but more than 1200.
  5. Figure out a giveaway for that product so you can add people to your mail-list. Either create a new mail-list or update your autoresponder thankyou page. (Probably here would be to give your new product to new enrollees - unless you have a proven winner - then make it a broadcast to your existing list.) This giveaway should be viral package - that people can sell or give to friends - replete with ads for your other products.
  6. Set up a mini-web, three pages plus an index page. All links giving their pagerank to the index (use no follow/dynamic links - aka Dr. Andy Williams and Michael Campbell).
  7. Set up a sales page, along with a thank you page - add these to the mini-web.
  8. Post your mini-web. Double-check it - all links and spellings.
  9. Set it up as a product on Clickbank. Only now does your promotion start -
  10. Press Release to various sites.
  11. Blog about it - post the review and your press release on your blog.
  12. Digg and Stumbleupon your blog post and mini-web index (although this may change as you get really networked into the social media scene - they may discover and rank your blog faster than you can as they start subscribing to it). Onlywire it.
  13. Squidoo it - create a lens which is a review of that product, replete with links to your mini-web and blog post.
  14. Social bookmark your lens.
  15. Meanwhile, submit your product review to the key article directories, then put it in a submitter program to get it out to a couple hundred others.
  16. Make a slideshare of your Review. Include the text as notes. Post it.
  17. Make an MP3 of your Review, based on the slideshare. Post it as a podcast.
  18. Upgrade your slideshare with that MP3.
  19. Social bookmark that slideshare.
  20. Create a video from that slideshow and MP3 - post that to YouTube.
  21. Then social bookmark that video.

Now, some caveats. Use OnlyWire only once a day per product. And probably only three times a day max.

I don't say that your main line of marketing is to flood (spam) the social media with your products. You use everything, every marketing outlet you can. Note that we use an SEO optimized mini-web to begin with. And article marketing is going along as well. You use it to get opt-in's. And give away a version which goes viral. AND send it out to your entire list as a special promotion - so they can buy your full product as well.

The point of social media promotion is to get people finding out about your new product - even if you've had it out for quite a while. Your full-court-press utilizes all sorts of promotion to get the word out. All these social media sites gets you top location on Google, which will help people find your site, through "organic" SEO. But you also want to create a social media buzz, which might possibly drive more traffic to your site - particularly if you have really gotten in and contributed to the communities there.

Sure, this is a lot of work. But you want to get all you can out of it. If you do it right, you'd then follow it up with a media release so that you get some radio interviews about your latest product.

I haven't even mentioned comment marketing, which is where you search out blogs talking about that problem and then proposing your book as a solution. Practically, you really don't talk about it much at all, just give good solutions in your comments and then they'll look your website up - give them the mini-web index page, perhaps..

And of course, this means writing a little book on just this subject - something which then promotes my bigger books. I just have to do some more homework on others' views and practices on this.

For you, that's one helluva'n outline to follow. Keep you busy on just one product a week - and I'm planning to do this on three product-lines at the same time.

If you are building a new product, work from your keywords and market analysis to figure which way you're going.

For a higher-echelon sales funnel product, like a webinar, you start with your best sellers. Review what does really good (and what you know a lot about) and then tailor-make a course around that book or product. Create a lot of how-to videos. (You can make short versions of this for YouTube and Slideshare as promo.) Stitch these together with links and whatnot. Then follow the above sequence with a review of the course (which no one can see for themselves without paying for it). Follow that exact sequence.

You can sell the big product directly, just make sure you get their email address for your list. You can upsell them the referenced books and also give them all sorts of MP3's so they don't have to download them.

- - - -

Now, how would a complete newbie start with this? First buy my books ;) - since they will tell you all sorts of data on it. But seriously, buy my books and others' too. "No one school has all the teachers." Subscribe to some really proven gurus like Michael Campbell and Dr. Andy Williams.

But your actions will be these:
  1. Figure out what your real passions in life are. What's your life purpose? What do you really like doing in life?
  2. Do your homework on how to market online.
  3. Figure out a product you want to market - yours or someone else's.
  4. Get a web presence. A good webhost and a domain name.
  5. Get a Clickbank account - or similar, so you can sell directly without having to have a credit card company. The chief interest is that you can get others to sell for you - affiliates.
  6. Start getting signed up with the social networks and participating in finding the social buzzes going on.
  7. For every product, follow those steps in sequence above.

Right now, that's the way to make all this happen - the clearest short-handed approach to online marketing I've seen yet, at least in terms of effective promotion.

Luck to us all...

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